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Judge Rejects SCO's Motion For a New Trial 168

Posted by timothy
from the civil-procedure's-too-good-for-'em dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A judge has rejected SCO's motion for a new trial in the company's dispute over UNIX intellectual property ownership. The ruling validates a verdict that was issued in April by a jury who determined that Novell, and not SCO, is the rightful owner of the UNIX SVRX copyrights. This means SCO cannot continue to pursue its litigation against IBM and other Linux users. 'There was substantial evidence that Novell made an intentional decision to retain ownership of the copyrights,' the judge wrote in his decision. 'The Court finds that the verdict is not clearly, decidedly, or overwhelmingly against the weight of the evidence. Therefore, SCO is not entitled to a new trial.'"
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Judge Rejects SCO's Motion For a New Trial

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  • by X0563511 (793323) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @06:04PM (#32529016) Homepage Journal

    Someone who knows how the skits actually run, and doesn't just throw the whole of Holy Grail into a blender and pick random quotes?

  • Not over yet (Score:5, Informative)

    by UnknowingFool (672806) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @06:06PM (#32529036)
    The article seem to suggest that the SCO v IBM is over. That's not quite correct. SCO's claims against IBM most likely will be voided. IBM however has counterclaims. At this point, IBM can't get much money but knowing IBM, they want to make an example of SCO so that no other company will do this to them again.
  • Re:Isn't SCO (Score:3, Informative)

    by digitig (1056110) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @06:22PM (#32529224)
    If you're thinking of "Scouser", it's the term for somebody from Liverpool. I don't think it's ever used in anything but it's factual sense. Whether that's abusive depends on what you think of coming from Liverpool. Me, I'm Scouse and proud of it.
  • Re:Groklaw link (Score:3, Informative)

    by ozmanjusri (601766) <[aussie_bob] [at] [hotmail.com]> on Thursday June 10, 2010 @06:24PM (#32529242) Journal
    I also think there needs to be a 'SCO' icon .

    You could just use the Microsoft Borg icon.

  • Re:Not over yet (Score:3, Informative)

    by UnknowingFool (672806) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @07:09PM (#32529754)
    SCO claims that IBM took IP from Project Monterrey and used it in AIX on their Power architecture. Under the terms of their deal, IBM could only do that if they also released Monterrey on Intel's Itanium. However Itanium was an troubled architecture that never found many customers and IBM backed out of later having only sold 40 licenses by 2002. According to former SCO CEO Ransom Love, IBM offered to pay SCO for their troubles but SCO refused. [practical-tech.com]
  • Re:Groklaw link (Score:5, Informative)

    by yorugua (697900) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @07:25PM (#32529944)

    Or lets quote her:

    Stewart Rules: Novell Wins! CASE CLOSED! Thursday, June 10 2010 @ 04:14 PM EDT

    Here you go, munchkins. Judge Ted Stewart has ruled for Novell and against SCO. Novell's claim for declaratory judgment is granted; SCO's claims for specific performance and breach of the implied covenant of good fair and fair dealings are denied. Also SCO's motion for judgment as a matter of law or for a new trial: denied. Novell is entitled to waive, at its sole discretion, claims against IBM, Sequent and other SVRX licensees.

    CASE CLOSED!

    Maybe I should say cases closed. The door has slammed shut on the SCO litigation machine. The judge writes in the Memorandum Decision and Order about SCOsource, "Finally, while SCO's witnesses testified that the copyrights were 'required' for SCO to run its SCOsource licensing program, this was not something that SCO ever acquired from Novell." He totally got it. He noticed Darl McBride admitted that SCO didn't need the copyrights for anything but SCOsource. It couldn't be any better if I'd written it myself.

    Was the jury misled or confused? Not at all, the judge writes: "The jury could have rejected the testimony of SCO's witnesses for a number of reasons, including their lack of involvement in drafting the APA, the fact that there was little testimony on any actual discussions concerning the transfer of copyrights, or that many of the witnesses had a financial interest in the litigation."

    "The Clerk of the Court is directed to close this case forthwith," Stewart writes in the final judgment. I believe that means SCO v. IBM is essentially over now, unless IBM wishes to pursue its counterclaims.

    And now it is -- finally -- time, once again, for my red dress! And a huge thank you to Michael Jacobs and the team at Morrison & Foerster, who never gave up but, more importantly, showed that you can fight hard and win with ethics and dignity, and to Sterling Brennan of Workman|Nydegger, who was frankly absolutely wonderful at trial. And thank you to you, Groklaw volunteers, because we made a difference in this world.

  • Re:Not over yet (Score:5, Informative)

    by Todd Knarr (15451) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @08:12PM (#32530364) Homepage

    Actually IIRC IBM took code from AIX on Power and put it into Project Monterrey. SCO's claim was that IBM then took that code and contributed it to Linux, essentially claiming that they had control over anything that'd even touched Monterrey regardless of origin. The claim was even more ridiculous because the code they claimed IBM had contributed (JFS) wasn't the code contributed to Monterrey. IBM had originally written JFS for AIX on Power. Their Linux team had to create a completely new implementation of JFS from scratch, because the AIX driver couldn't be ported over to x86. And in fact the Linux team came up with such a superior implementation that IBM removed the original JFS driver (the one that got contributed to Monterrey) from AIX and ported the Linux JFS driver over to AIX on Power. So had SCO gotten past the twin hurdles of claiming control over IBM's independently-developed code just because it was contributed to Monterrey and the code they were suing over never having been contributed to Monterrey, they would've faced the hurdle of the code having come from Linux to Monterrey and not the other way around.

    Of course, that's par for the course for SCO. Remember that their first allegedly infringing piece of code turned out not to even be theirs. The malloc() code they claimed was copied from SCO Unix into Linux turned out to be a piece of earlier code (released both under the BSD license multiple times and into the public domain by it's original author) that both SCO Unix and Linux had gone and used (well, SCO Unix used it, Linux had dropped it in favor of more modern code and when it was found the reaction was "What's that still doing there? Get rid of it, it's not being used and it's just cluttering things up.").

  • Re:Groklaw link (Score:5, Informative)

    by daniel23 (605413) on Thursday June 10, 2010 @08:17PM (#32530418)

    Thanks for citing her! However, the link to the red dress [groklaw.net] got lost and needs adding.

  • by Abalamahalamatandra (639919) on Friday June 11, 2010 @12:07AM (#32531682)

    Get real, that's tantamount to saying Novell screwed SCO over with the APA - which is utter crap.

    SCO knew exactly what they were getting at the time, which WAS NOT the copyrights, because they didn't have the money to buy them. Why would they agree to pay 5% back to Novell if they were buying the copyrights outright?

  • Groklaw has links (Score:3, Informative)

    by symbolset (646467) on Friday June 11, 2010 @12:34AM (#32531844) Journal

    It took time to add links to the footnotes of the text of the decision. Over time, in the way Groklaw works, the footnote text will become links to text versions of the associated documents, which link to the official court PDFs, and a link to the blog post will appear in the summary page here [groklaw.net], or a child page. That's how Groklaw does things. The members contribute to fund the purchase of the documents from the court. Groklaw was a tiny bit slower than Ars Technica this time but in the fullness of time GrokLaw makes a better record that the Library of Congress [slashdot.org] has deemed worthy to record. This is certainly the best recorded copyright infringement case ever, and that's solely because of GrokLaw. Not only that, but the thorough documentation makes it a case study in all forms of intellectual property litigation and even all forms of extended litigation practice. Pamela isn't the fastest always, though she usually is because this case is a specialty - but her site is the definitive record of this series of court cases. Groklaw doesn't have the attention deficit disorder that /. suffers from, nor does it tolerate certain types of troll, nor obscenity. Pamela might have chosen the slashdot moderation system instead of the one she did given an adequate education and foresight in blogging and technology - but she didn't. She's not a geek like us, she's a paralegal and the decision point was more than seven years ago. It's a paralegal's blog and given the persistence and popularity of her site she chose well. Groklaw might have obsessive compulsive disorder in that it follows religiously minutia on a court case most people don't care about, but that's a different issue. Groklaw is thorough. It's a worthy reference for this specific topic, and the only one worth mentioning.

    The site is also producing text-based documentation of the Comes V. Microsoft [groklaw.net] collection of documents. In Comes, the plaintiff forced production of a vast collection of documents that offer an interesting view into the internal operation of the Microsoft monopoly, and published them on their website which closed when Microsoft settled [iowaconsumercase.org]. Most of these documents were captured, and are being indexed by the Groklaw team. This is a worthy endeavor that could use help if you're interested.

    Groklaw has no advertising - it's fully funded by its interested members (in this group I am proud to stand [groklaw.net]) and supported with servers and bandwidth by ibiblio because it's a noteworthy and popular endeavor that promotes openness. Ars Technica reports on major events in the case, and references their other articles on the case. Ars does this to attract page hits that drive their advertising funding. It's in no way similar to the way Groklaw works.

    Groklaw is notable not just for this case but in providing an exemplary example to follow for documenting a notable legal case. This has never been done before in this way and Pamela Jones deserves considerable respect for inventing this method of preventing a miscarriage of justice. What these cases need more than anything else to secure justice is the full light of public knowledge of what's happening. Had that public awareness and thorough documentation provided by GrokLaw not been the case, an unpleasantly different outcome was almost certain.

    For me GrokLaw is not just about this case though that is a prime focus now. It's about how we, the common geeks through our collective memory and obsessive attention to detail can derail the attempts to halt progress by seasoned lawyers who are ignorant of how things actually work, and inattentive to when they were inven

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